West Shore RCMP is looking to reinstate a dedicated traffic unit in the new year.
“It’s in the works,” said Insp. Larry Chomyn, the detachment’s officer in charge. “That will come to fruition when we do some reorganizing internally.”
While he said they do have members that are already assigned to traffic enforcement, this would be a dedicated unit that specializes in traffic enforcement. The team would also specialize in crash analysis, he added.
“Their mandate and focus will be on traffic enforcement and serious accident investigation. There’s a high level of expertise needed … and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
The new unit will not only be an asset to the detachment, he said, they will act as a liaison and a direct representative of the West Shore RCMP with other municipal units and enforcement agencies.
“We’re a very rapidly growing community,” Chomyn said, noting that traffic complaint calls continue to be among the most frequent received by the detachment. “That’s always been one of our priorities for policing, so we’re giving it the attention it deserves.”
It has been a number of years since the detachment had a dedicated unit, and having a more visible presence on West Shore roadways should have a positive impact on dangerous driving habits, he said.
That sentiment was echoed by Langford Mayor Stew Young.
“The traffic division is needed. You don’t want people thinking there’s no policing in that area (for) our community,” he said. “You want to make sure the police are out there and have a presence.”
Young was also quick to note the unit would not just be there to write tickets for less serious infractions, but would focus on dangerous drivers and areas where high speeds are a known problem. “It’s more about community policing,” he said, noting it all comes back to making sure the public is safe in their homes and on the streets. “Our emphasis is still on crime and keeping people safe.”
Chomyn couldn’t disclose specifics about the unit, because it is still being finalized and for security reasons. But he did note an officer targeted to become the unit’s supervisor is being transferred from the mainland.